BlueGreen Alliance | Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Boost U.S. Manufacturing

Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Boost U.S. Manufacturing

June 23, 2023

Oregon’s Landmark ‘Buy America’ Bill Aligns with ‘Build America, Buy America’ Federal Guidelines, Bolstering Domestic Steel, Iron Supply Chains for a Sustainable Future

The Oregon State Senate today approved a transformative “Buy America” bill (HB 3332), which will retool the state’s procurement practices and greater align state buying power with current robust federal domestic standards. This bill will require the Oregon Department of Transportation and Department of Administrative Services to prioritize domestically manufactured iron and steel in public works and public improvement transportation and vertical construction projects. This practice will foster the creation of good-paying jobs for Oregonians, while reducing the state’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the new legislation will create a grant program to support small businesses with technical assistance to help them participate in Oregon’s domestic content goals.

The bill was led by a coalition that includes BlueGreen Alliance, Oregon AFL-CIO, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Cascade Steel, Willamette Technical Fabricators, Ironworkers Local 29, and United Steelworkers District 12. The BlueGreen Alliance and state partners thanked bill sponsors Speaker of the House Dan Rayfield; Reps. Lucetta Elmer, Dacia Grayber, and Julie Fahey; Sen. Kathleen Taylor and Sen. Debbie Patterson.

“Passing ‘Buy America’ in Oregon is a long-awaited victory,” said Oregon State Policy Manager Ranfis Giannettino Villatoro. “Once signed into law, these policies will complement Oregon’s previously enacted ‘Buy Clean’ law aimed at procuring low-carbon construction materials—including steel, cement, and asphalt.”

“This legislation ensures Oregonians’ hard-earned tax dollars go to domestic manufacturers, maintaining good-paying jobs and ensuring a greener, more sustainable supply chain,” said Oregon State House Speaker Dan Rayfield (HD-16)

“As a small business owner and proud American, I firmly believe in the importance of promoting companies within the United States and making it feasible for other businesses to support them as well,” said Rep. Lucetta Elmer (HD-24). “I was encouraged to see HB 3332, the ‘Buy America’ bill, pass the Senate. This bipartisan and bicameral piece of legislation will significantly benefit Oregon companies, including Cascade Steel, one of the largest employers in House District 24.”

“Here in Oregon, we make steel that is far cleaner than much of what is produced overseas. In some cases—like at Cascade Steel Rolling Mills in McMinnville—the steel made is actually a net-zero carbon product. That ingenuity should be celebrated,” said Rep. Dacia Grayber (HD-28). “The bill passed today will not only reduce global emissions from manufacturing, it will greatly reduce the transportation emissions that result from shipping these products in from overseas, instead sourcing them from neighboring counties or states. Under this bill we create a true circular economy where taxes, production, and good-paying jobs stay here in Oregon.”

“Buy America passing in Oregon is a huge win for working families as the state prioritizes the creation of family-wage manufacturing jobs. Furthermore, we can expect more tax dollars to stay in state and help vital infrastructure projects,” said Jason Fussell, Business Manager for Ironworkers Local 29.

“Today’s passage of Buy America is a victory for Oregon’s workers in ensuring that taxpayer-funded public works and improvement projects are using U.S.-made steel and iron product, “said Graham Trainor, Oregon AFL-CIO President. “These U.S.-made goods produce fewer toxins, support good wages and benefits, and are made by union workers who have a meaningful voice on the job.”

“As companies continue to invest in their U.S. operations, they modernize plants to make them safe and efficient and create jobs in the process,” said Brian J. Lombardozzi, Vice President of State Governmental Affairs, Alliance for American Manufacturing. “This legislation will ensure that as Oregon regulates the way U.S. manufacturers do business, it will do its best to encourage U.S. production and investment. HB 3332 will ensure that compliance with U.S. environmental and labor standards is the standard for doing business here.”

The BlueGreen Alliance has consistently advocated for similar policies at the federal level and across several states. The bill now goes to Governor Tina Kotek. “Today, we celebrate this significant legislative victory and hope the governor will promptly sign this important bill into law,” said Giannettino Villatoro.